Sunday, February 21, 2010

Spanda: perfection and contrast

Spanda is the fundamental creative pulsation that is life, the heart-beat at the core of everything. It's the way we describe the cycles of life, the alternation of expansion and contraction, and also the way we move in asana, from expansion (breathing in, inner body bright, sidebody long) to contraction (muscle to the bone, muscle energy) and ultimately to expansion again (organic energy). I think it's also where the brand-name Spandex comes from, just by the by, if it's helpful to think of something that's stretchy but that also pulls back in to shape. It seems to me that spanda is really just the truth of how things work, you know -- seems so basic, a law like gravity, but also so easy to lose track of...

The week before last, the week I was in the Anusara immersion and workshops with John Friend, was utter Perfection. It was 7 whole days of great: I was happy every single minute, completely present, totally engrossed, 100% lit-up, receptive, inspired, loved and committed. WOW, the total package. Even though I stayed in my own backyard, it was an awesome vacation. I was seriously high as a kite all week, even when I got my period starting mid-week (Aunt Dot normally accompanied by 3- or 4-day migraine, but not this time), even when I started to feel a head-cold coming on (held it off until Monday). Just GREAT. Perfect.

And then I went back to work. That was a rude awakening. I managed to keep some grip on the Great from the week before, but the contrast between that blissful week and the reality of my day-to-day work experience was sharp. The first day back I asked myself, "Really, this is what I get to do all day?" At the end of the second day, I felt like crying on the way back home -- just so demoralized. Later that night, I realized I had spend most of that day feeling hated and/or dismissed. By Friday, I was a bit clearer, perhaps because I knew long mat-hours and freedom were coming.

There's spanda for you, right? Of course, it's not possible (or is it?) for every week to be like the immersion week -- one or a few weeks like that a year go a long way -- and it's sure not necessary for every week to be like last week at work. Somewhere there's a middle, and I just have to find it, make it.

Now that it is the weekend, I had a perfect day yesterday. Practiced in Sausalito with Laura and Trixie and the rest of the beautiful gang, then came home and worked and puttered in the garden for hours. I started seeds and weeded and turned the compost and stared at birds, while Joe worked on the new fence, both of us completely In what we were doing, checking in and talking every once in a while, but busy at our tasks. Trix and Josh came for dinner and we ate and laughed and watched the 'Lympics and generally reveled in a great friendship. Today is more of the same. I'm home after a walk with Joe and Jasper in the rain, writing and thinking and enjoying being here and being me. Joe is off, milling more parts for the fence. Nice.

And I know that tomorrow, Monday, will necessarily be different, not as great. I'm ready for it, because I'm staying clear on what I do get to do this year, which is change it all and find that sweeter middle spot between high-as-a-kite perfection and drudgery, that middle spot that is slowly taking form.

1 comment:

Ginger Coy said...

I think this is a fascinating topic, how to remain yogic while at work. How to feel bright and expansive admidst contraction, your own and others. This topic would be great as an on-going dialogue for tips to remain in the flow while at work. I wanted to meet you, but you were across the, what seemed like a giant room during the John Friend week! I appreciate your candor and insights, keep blogging!